Bristol, November 4, Fleece & Firkin:
What a great night! Took 2 friends along, one who'd heard Cool for Cats and Up the Junction and that's it, and the other who'd put his vinyl copies of Argy and East Side up in the loft years ago, and they had a whale of a time.
The usual variety of stuff, more Squeeze songs than covers (unlike last year), and GT phoned up Chris on a mobile to wish him "Happy Birthday". Unfortunately CD was out for dinner but he rang back later in the middle of a song so GT stopped and we all sang to him - all good fun! A guy called Craig joined GT on stage a couple of numbers (was he the same Craig on the U.S. tour?) and a few drunks danced on stage for the encores. One guy lurching around in an anorak with a pint, and another borrowing GT's 12-string and doing the Chuck Berry duckwalk.
Some great singing from the throng, particularly on the backing vocals and guitar bits. All in all the best fun you could have for £7.50 on a wet Tuesday night in Bristol - see ya next year Glenn.
Bristol, November 4, Fleece & Firkin:
It was a nice change to be able to see Glenn on my home territory for once, instead of travelling halfway around the country. As always, he was in fine form and performed a mix of covers and Squeeze songs to the approval and appreciation of a near-capacity crowd. His invitation to us to be the Miracles to his Smokey Robinson stumbled slightly when we forgot our part, but with his encouragement we got it right in the end! He made my 15-year-old daughter's night when he played End Of A Century at her request, and mine when he did Temptation For Love, and threw in such gems as Elephant Ride, In Quintessence and Maidstone. But this was Chris Difford's birthday, and the highlight of the evening was Glenn's attempt to phone him so we could sing Happy Birthday. After making several attempts, which were thwarted by Chris' having gone out for a meal, he left a message to phone him back when he got home. "Here, look after this and tell me when it rings" said Glenn, handing me his mobile. I must admit that I have no idea what the next few songs were as I was so busy doing as I was told, but I'm told Glenn was playing Woman's World when it lit up like a Christmas tree. This prompted panic mode in me, with much waving of the arms (I just stopped myself tugging at his trouser leg to get his attention!), whereupon the place went silent. "The gig's over", said Glenn, "and I just thought I'd phone you to say...." Cue audience to sing Happy Birthday very badly, at which Chris was overcome - with gratitude or horror we weren't sure, we couldn't hear his reply. Oh, and did I mention FOUR encores?
And that, I thought, was that, having bought tickets to a non-existent Bath gig, until I talked my dearly-beloved into giving me an early Christmas present and taking me to....
An excellent support act in the form of Dave Sutherland opened for Glenn to all of a dozen of us. When Glenn ambled on there were rather more people present, but you would hardly have known it - you could have heard a pin drop between songs. This despite a straw poll conducted by Glenn showing that the vast majority had seen him solo before and presumably therefore knew what to expect. I don't need to list the stuff he played; everyone knows by now what his stock material is, but I'll just mention the excellent renditions of I'll Never Go Drinking Again and Vanity Fair which I hadn't seen him do before, I Want You, the fabulous Some Fantastic Place, and Introvert, a B-side I'm ashamed to say I'd never heard of! The evening ended with him pretending to be Cliff Richard and inviting half the audience on stage to be his dancers.
Brighton, November 12, the Concorde:
He played a mix of cover versions and Squeeze originals. He asked us to shout out requests - so I contributed with the eponymous Alison - one of my favourite songs, for obvious reasons. He sang that, along with End Of A Century which is my favourite Blur track.
He did tell us that he expected audience participation - there weren't many takers but he was joined on stage by a diminutive lady called Sonia who belted out Proud Mary in an amazingly powerful voice - she was superb! One guy helped him out with the verse of Psycho Killer by Talking Heads, for which he was very grateful. At the end, a bloke called Nick was pushed onto the stage by his mates when Glenn pleaded for a guitarist - after a short conflab they did Take Me I'm Yours, followed by Nick's request of Goodbye Girl which was fantastic.
It was a totally amazing evening and I can't wait to see him in Portsmouth on December 7th.
Most of the songs he played were :-
Southampton, November 17, The Brooke:
This was the first time that my wife and I had seen Glenn perform an acoustic concert - and what a belter!
Playing to an intimate audience of about 300 he had his faithful followers eating out of his hand almost immediately.
Classic Squeeze tracks, golden oldies, cover versions, audience participation and a chance to be on stage with one of the nicest guys in the music industry provided a superb concoction guaranteed to please.
For nearly two and quarter hours Glenn was on stage, with only three people being brave enough to venture on stage and perform with him. The first male singer gave a truly creditable account of himself when singing "Temptation For Love". The next guy a complete anorak and waste of space tried and failed miserably to sing "Cool For Cats" and ended up being the butt of Glenn's jokes for the next 10 minutes. A lesson for us all wannabes, know your stuff or suffer the consequences. The last chap played guitar with Glenn and gave a very solid performance.
Two encores, a rendition of "Happy Birthday", the audience dancing on the stage, my wife speaking to him at the bar before he went on, what a night!
Glenn you are indeed a true ENTERTAINER.
See in Portsmouth on Sunday 7th December
Derby, November 18, The Flowerpot:
The transformation of The Flowerpot in Derby from a pub frequented only by a few locals and the odd real ale enthusiast, to being THE local venue is of great credit to John Evans - the entrepreneurial landlord, and the guile and resourcefulness of Allan Woolley of RAW Promotions. Within the last year it has played host to no less than Nils Lofgren, Midge Ure, The Levellers and The Blues Band to name but a few. That being said, Glenn Tilbrook’s gig of Nov. 18th was without doubt the most entertaining night I have had there, and if he is scheduled to appear in your locale in the near future, I implore you to go and see him, if only to have the best value-for-money night-out money can buy!
The enthusiastic audience were with him from the off, and his charm and confidence quickly won over the uninitiated. As per the Brighton Concorde gig, he played a mix of covers and Squeeze songs, and asked the audience for requests, with the guarantee that he busk his way through anything. One audience member suggested Morrissey’s ‘Suedehead’. Glenn said that he didn’t know the song, but that the Suedeheads were a movement that followed soul music, to counter the Skinheads ska, and they would have loved Judy Clay & William Bell’s ‘Private Number’ which he could play!
A lively and highly entertaining evening ensued with much audience participation, filling in all the accompaniments that Glenn could not manage with just vocal and guitar. A tall chap called Paul helped out on guitar for an exquisite version of Labelled With Love, which brought the house down. My knowledge of the Squeeze catalogue gets a bit sketchy after ‘Cosi’, but with the combination of his sensitive delivery, coupled with a sublime lyrical elegance and musical wit, I shall definitely be familiarizing myself with their more recent work. He later confirmed that he and Chris were working on material for a new album to be released next year - so keep your ears to the ground.
The applause that met the closing song was incredible, and he was brought back on to the audience chanting the riff to ‘Black Coffee in Bed’. Glenn joined in acapella for a couple of verses, but had to surrender when he reached the chorus as the key that the audience had hit upon meant he would have to bust a blood vessel to finish the song! There was an enormous cheer when Glenn gave credit to Chris the Lyricmeister - pity he wasn’t there. He continued with favourites like ‘Up the Junction’ and ‘Tempted’, and left the audience wanting more.
And they got more - with a second encore, in which Glenn created a beach party atmosphere à la ‘Summer Holiday’ by having drunken hoards from the audience join him on stage and dance behind him to the likes of ‘It’s not Unusual’ and ‘Pulling Mussels from a Shell’. When the massed dancers of the Derby Alcohol Appreciation Society linked arms in order to, I assume, prop each other up, Glenn immediately launched into ‘Knees-up Mother Brown’ which closed the evening with a hysterical twist.
A must-see for anyone with two ears and a penchant for fun!
From what I can remember, he played,
Annie Get Your Gun
Peter Everett - Derby, England.
Dundee, Nov. 23rd, West Port Bar, & Edinburgh, Nov 24th, La Belle Angele
Call me greedy, but I just had to go see Glenn twice! The first gig was in my home town of Dundee. Squeeze have played there before and received a great reception but it was the first time Glenn had visited on his own. Glenn firstly announced that he was in day 2 of a cold, and that he hoped his voice would hold up. It did sadly have a noticable affect on his voice, reducing it to being only bloody marvellous!
The West Port Bar is a very small place, with the distance between the bar at the back and the stage being 15 paces at most, and this meant that he had to compete with the noise of the cashtills at the bar a little too much for my liking. Also, I'll never understand why people spend £8 on going to see a gig and then proceed to chat all the way through it. However, the majority of the Dundee crowd did Glenn proud with very enthusiastic singing and backing vocals. Memorable moments of the set included a guy called Sandy sharing the guitar duties on "Take Me I'm Yours" (it wasn't until about half-way through that I realised that it wasn't Glenn playing the lead solo...Glenn's beaming smile showed that he was very impressed!). He also seemed quite pleased when a pair of black knickers were thrown at him at the end of the "It's Not Unusual" finale!
Day 3 of the cold found Glenn visiting La Belle Angele, a club in Edinburgh (where I now live) that I saw him play at during his last solo tour. This venue is long and thin with the bar being well out of earshot, so the sound was crystal-clear. Glenn's cold had also got a bit better, restoring it to it's usual too-talented-for-his-own-good status. The infamously reserved Edinburgh gig-going public didn't perhaps belt out the singing with the same gusto as their Dundee counterparts, but Glenn soon got them going by bringing out "Goodbye Girl" earlier than he had the previous night. It also looked like he was only going to be joined on stage at the end by one brave young lady, but eventually she was joined by a respectable number of embarrased punters!
So which was my favourite of the two gigs? The atmosphere at Dundee beat Edinburgh hands-down, but then again I could hear the maestro at work in Edinburgh. I would say that Glenn seemed to enjoy the Dundee gig more. Alphabetic list of songs played at the 2 gigs are (without some that I can't remember the names of).......
York, November 26, Fibbers:
Rock, Roll and Tissues
On Wednesday 26 November, Mr Tilbrook delighted us once again with his unique brand of ‘pub entertainment’. The venue, Fibbers, York. The evening was kicked off by Dave Sutherland who played a mixture of Irish Folk type music with clever guitar playing. Soon after, Suzanne came on with the towels and we knew things were hotting up. Sure enough, at 9:00pm ‘The Voice Of Squeeze’ (as the blackboard outside proclaimed) graced the stage. The trebly ring of his Taylor acoustic was however not immediately revealed. The show began with an apology in advance from Glenn in case his voice happened to fail in the concert due to a cold, evidence of which was present in the box of tissues on the stage and the mug of honey and lemon (alongside the obligatory towels and beer). To everyone’s surprise, he began the set with ‘No Place Like Home’. The set list in no particular order is below (as far as we can remember). We have no doubt left some out.
No Place like Home
Mud in your Eye
Stoke, November 30, The Wheatsheaf:
Well... I have seen Squeeze many times but never Glenn on his own. Stoke is about half an hour from where I live in Cheshire so I sent for the tickets and we went. It was a cold Sunday night and a small queue of dedicated fans formed outside the converted pub and shivered. The sound of a sound check filtered through the blacked out windows, it was "The Truth". Well at least we knew that Glenn had arrived. Forty five minutes later the doors opened and we moved inside. A black room lay inside the doors with a bar at one end and a small stage to the left. We were early enough to stand at the front of the stage, just a few feet from the mike stand. The room filled up. A support act came on, a pretty girl who's name escaped me. She played acoustic guitar and sung struggling against a noisy, chattering crowd. She finished and we waited. The stage was reset and then..... Glenn came on the stage and broke into "Third Rail". The talkers went quiet, the room lit up, the chill disappeared. What followed was two hours of great entertainment, Glenn and the audience were on a high. Yes he did all of the usual Squeeze songs. A highpoint was Glenn attempting to sing an accapella version of Hour Glass whilst he went for a pi** (his words). Unfortunately we shall never know if the special acoustics of the toilet lifted the song to greater heights as it was drowned by the crowd's own singing. We were almost in sync when he got back!! During "Tracks of my Tears" Glenn said that he could hear someone singing the correct harmony, Carl? was dragged out of the crowd, given a guitar and sung with Glenn. For "Weather with You" Carl and a friend went on stage and we all sung along. "Its Not Unusual" had half the crowd on stage dancing in a sixties style!! Glenn eventually went off stage, came back for an encore and then went off again. The gig appeared to end and taped music was put on the speakers, some of the crowd were ready to leave. The group at the front of the stage broke into the riff from "Black Coffee" (in true Squeeze concert tradition). Eventually the rest of the crowd joined in, drowning out the taped music which cut out several times as if someone was trying to deceide what to do. After what seemed a lifetime the tape was finally switched off and Glenn came back on to do a wonderful version of ....... you guessed it "Black Coffee in Bed". Finally it was over, the doors opened and we all went back into the cold night in Stoke. I went home with Glenn's plectrum, a sore throat, sixteen photos in my camera (I will scan and post them when they are printed) and great memories.
I learnt several things from the evening :
You don't need a big venue, a dive is great if the quality is there. I must learn to play the guitar properly so that I can join Glenn on stage next time. Glenn Tilbrook is one of the greatest singers and guitarists in the world.
Thanks to you all especially Glenn and the rest of Squeeze.
Nigel Richards - An ex South East Londoner living in Cheshire
Reading, 11th December, Alleycat
Camden, 14th December, Dingwalls
From Lily G -
I finally got to see one of Glenn's solo shows this year, and was I
pleased as punch to be there. I think I got the award as having come
the farthest to see that show (I flew in from Bangkok that morning), and
was rewarded with a Christmas extravaganza, complete with elves and other
assorted Santa's helpers (you really hadda be there....) The opener was
Both Glenn and the rather large crowd were in a chipper mood, although there weren't that many people who were brave enough to join Glenn on the stage... no fearless female joined Mr. T for Temptation for Love, but the solo version was fantastic, anyway. Sadly, I don't remember all that I should about the concert, as I was severely jet-lagged by the end (adrenalin can only get you so far before you crash). Here is the set list, with apologies for any inaccuracies due to my trying to scribble down a set list in the dark while standing up.
No Place Like Home
Oh yeah, and by the way, for those of you keeping count: Orange